Locke was finally informed of what happened last night on the next day. It turned out that these relatives, whom he'd never met before, realised that there weren't any benefits of getting close to Locke's family, so they turned their attention to Lia.
It first started off by someone saying that Lia wasn't young anymore and it was time for her to find a man to marry, and everyone else agreed with that statement.
Stick-thin man was recommended by his own father as a candidate. He hoped that his son could attract Lia's attention with his height. It was a pity that Lia wouldn't even roll her eyes at him. She treated him like he didn't exist.
This skinny man had no self-awareness at all. After seeing how beautiful Lia was, he was determined to marry her as his father wanted. If he'd married Lia, he would be the brother-in-law of a noble knight. He could then have anything and everything he wanted. Just like that, the combination of a farcical suggestion with a guy without self-awareness and a group of profit-seeking 'relatives' caused this predicament.
Locke only had two words for them: "Piss off!"
Yoshk ordered the soldiers to throw those involved in Quarryton's prison. Since they didn't commit any actual harm, they would only be held for two or three days. But they would definitely remember these two or three days for the rest of their lives. The soldiers in the prison would give them lots of attention for sure.
Locke was still comforting Lia, but it wasn't working well. She hadn't smiled for the whole day.
The convoy sent by Cardoj arrived in the afternoon. Locke's family packed up, got on the convoy and left Quarryton.
Hans and Caen hugged Locke tightly before he left. The three of them silently vowed that this wouldn't be the last time they saw each other.
Locke's relatives who lived in Quarryton weren't involved in the commotion last night. Locke treated them kindly and gave each family a hundred silver thalers. He had also asked Yoshk to take care of them. He could only do so much for them.
Lia was still in a bad mood in the carriage. It was her first time riding in one, but she didn't seem to be happy or excited at all. Locke had tried to cheer her up several times, only to fail miserably.
"What's the matter with Lia?" Locke asked his parents who were in another carriage. The baron had sent a total of three carriages. The third was filled with necessities and belongings.
Locke Senior pursed his lips and kept quiet, so his mother was the one who revealed the truth.
"Lia isn't actually your biological sister." Tia's words stunned Locke for quite a while.
"Those relatives rashly mentioned it when they chatted yesterday and Lia heard it," Tia continued. His mother told him about Lia in detail and explained what exactly happened last night.
Lia wasn't sad and dejected because of the rude man who tried to be her suitor, but rather, out about her own life experience. Her parents and younger brother with whom she had lived for more than twenty years weren't her biological family. It was indeed a heavy blow for her.
If Lia cried yesterday because she found out about her life background, didn't it mean that the relatives who were in prison right now were innocent? Well, not really. After all, they spilt the beans while they chatted and Lia coincidentally heard it. They deserved it, so Locke didn't stress about it.
He spent the whole day with his sister in the carriage and kept telling her jokes and stories, particularly about the dangers he'd encountered and the battles he'd participated in. A while later, Lia stopped crying and started listening to Locke's stories earnestly. In the afternoon, Lia started smiling again.
When they arrived at Cardoj's castle, the convoy expanded to eleven carriages. Cardoj and his family would be going on a trip to Felor.
Barton squeezed into the same carriage and chatted with Locke. He didn't act like a spoiled baron's son at all. He wasn't really attracted to Lia; she was considered pretty in Maple Village, but she was just an ordinary-looking woman in his eyes.
Locke realised that Barton only talked about the political affairs in Cardoj's territory and had very little knowledge of war and actual personal strength. He preferred talking to Solon, despite them no longer getting along.
It was because Locke didn't know what else to talk to him about. He was just an illiterate who only knew how to write his and his family's names, so how could he talk on the same level as a noble who was highly educated?
The awkwardness in the carriage dissipated when Wyr joined the convoy, however. There were now fifteen carriages in the convoy.
There were also five cavalry squads on both sides of this magnificent convoy. The baron had probably brought all the cavalrymen that were in his territory with him. Wyr's family members stayed in the carriage, so Locke only saw his son. He looked a little feeble.
"Hello, Herr Wyr!" Locke stepped out of the carriage, rode on the horse that a servant brought him, and caught up with Wyr.
Wyr was riding with his son in front. When he saw Locke, he smiled and replied, "You'll be knighted yourself soon, you don't have to address me so formally."
"We'll see about that." Locke laughed. Cardoj would definitely be promoted to a viscount. Locke believed that Wyr, the high-rank Knecht, would be promoted as well.
Knights were ranked the lowest among the nobles. Many nobles with long heritage had always regarded knights as their servants and they would only consider baronets as a noble. Perhaps Locke would be addressing Wyr as a baronet a month later.
Wyr understood what Locke implied and smiled. He then introduced his son, who was next to him, to Locke.
"This is my son, Sverre."
Locke looked at him earnestly and reached out his hand. "Hello, Sverre!"
"Hello!" Sverre didn't have the imposing feel and the boldness that his father exuded. Instead, he was very shy. When Locke greeted him, he nervously reached out his skinny arm for a handshake.
It was hard to imagine that a high-rank Knecht like Wyr actually had a son who hadn't inherited any of his physical quality or personality at all. Other than their similar faces, they were like from both ends of the spectrum.
Locke only noticed something different when they both shook hands. Sverre was obviously not using any strength, but Locke felt an overbearing aura coming from him. It was the same aura that Locke gave off when he couldn't suppress his impetus when he advanced to a low-rank Knecht.
It seemed like Sverre had just advanced to a low-rank Knecht. Locke figured that out when he recalled that Wyr had given him three favours in exchange for his strengthening potion.
Suddenly, Barton came over and joined their conversation. The four of them ended up chatting heartily.
Locke didn't take Sverre's strength to heart. If he'd used the strengthening potion to help him overcome bottlenecks, then Sverre probably used it to enhance his physical growth. As it stood now, Locke felt that even an ordinary buff soldier could crush Sverre, whose arms were as thin as twigs.
"You all enjoy the conversation. I'll have to excuse myself to talk to the baron for a while," said Wyr to Locke and the others. He then went to the front of the convoy to look for Cardoj.
Locke didn't feel anything when Wyr left, but Sverre and Barton heaved a sigh of relief at the same time. They both seemed to be under a lot of pressure when talking to Wyr.
"Congratulations Sverre! You've advanced to a low-rank Knecht!" Barton said. Unlike Locke who'd just met Sverre for the first time, Barton and Sverre were old friends.
"Thank you. I couldn't have done it without my father," said Sverre shyly.
Locke felt that Sverre was like a woman who had the face of a man. He shuddered and tried not to pay too much attention to his appearance.
The three of them just chatted casually. Barton was the one who did most of the talking while Locke chimed in from time to time. Sverre was just listening most of the time.
"I'll bring you all around when we reach Felor! I've already been there several times!" Barton promised.
"Sure! You'll lead the way then." Locke and Sverre nodded.
Both Sverre and Barton gave Locke quite a bit of face. One of them was just a baron's son, and the other was only a good-for-nothing son of a knight, so their futures were nothing to boast of, if not outright bleak. However, Locke was currently about to be knighted, so he was definitely going to climb much higher. These descendants of nobles weren't stupid, though Locke, who'd been in the army for so many years, only realised it after a few days.
Wyr, who was walking in the distance, turned and looked back at Sverre. He sighed at the thought of having let Sverre use the strengthening potion that he got from Locke. Even so, its effect was not very significant.
Sverre was only able to advance to a low-rank Knecht with the help of many other precious potions, but the improvement in his strength was not obvious.
If it wasn't for Sverre's mother being Wyr's most beloved woman, he would've selected a different son to be his heir.
Three days later, Cardoj's convoy arrived at Felor. The majestic city walls towered the capital, and under the walls stood a long line of commoners who wanted to enter the city.
Before this, the largest city that Locke had ever been to was Audis, followed by Peterstown. Now, after looking at Felor's majestic walls, he came to the conclusion that it was far superior than any place he had visited. The walls, which stretched across thousands of metres, blocked the view for those on the outside.
Of course, Cardoj's convoy didn't have to queue with the commoners as nobles had privileges. There was a small passageway on the right side of the main entrance specially for nobles to use.
But there was also a queue at this passageway this time. Countless horse-drawn carriages were lined up like a long snake.
"Almost all of the nobles across the country will be here throughout the month," explained Cardoj to the people in the convoy as he smiled bitterly. These nobles were at the royal capital to for rewards like Cardoj.
The city guards were highly efficient; it only took two hours for it to be Locke and the others' turn. After the baron paid a silver thaler for each person as their administration fee, the convoy entered the city proper.
Felor wasn't as hectic as Peterstown, though there was more vigour in the air. The heavy traffic on the streets and the city scenery caught the attention of Locke and the other countryside bumpkins.